Senate suspends Shortey

Sex, drug allegations part of investigation of state senator

BY RANDY ELLIS AND NOLAN CLAY
Staff Writers

MOORE — An Oklahoma state senator offered money to a teenage boy for “sexual stuff” and was found with him in a hotel room that reeked of “raw marijuana,” authorities said.

A Moore police report on the early March 9 incident was turned over to prosecutors Wednesday afternoon. A decision on the filing of criminal charges is expected Thursday, said Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn.

State Sen. Ralph Shortey, 35, and the teenager admitted to police they had engaged in conversations “pertaining to sexual activities in exchange for money,” a police detective wrote in a court affidavit for a search warrant.

The affidavit only identified Shortey as R.S. and the teenager as H.L., but Mashburn has confirmed that Shortey is the adult under investigation. Both names were redacted in the police report.

Details about electronic communications between Shortey and the teenager were captured on the teenager’s Kindle tablet that was taken into evidence, police said.

The conversation started with the boy asking Shortey, “Is there anything I can help you do some cash?”

Shortey, using the screen name “Jamie Tilley,” responded: “How much you needing?”

“I need money for spring break,” the boy answered.

“Tilley” responded, “I don’t really have any legitimate things I need help right now. Would you be interested in ‘sexual’ stuff?”

Police were told the teenage boy had a history of drug abuse and “soliciting himself on Craigslist for sexual conduct.”

Police launched the investigation after being called by the boy’s father, who had been contacted by his son’s girlfriend.

She told police that her boyfriend had said he was “going to get paid tonight,” and she feared he might be “involved in illegal drugs.”

The girl told investigators she watched him get into a white Jeep Grand Cherokee with a man and she followed them to a Moore Super 8, where they went inside Room

120.

Officers reported smelling marijuana as they approached the room and knocked on the door.

Shortey initially told officers there was “no one other than him inside the room,” but the teenager later came out after officers said they were going to enter the room with a master key from management, police reported.

Shortey had rented a room at the Super 8 for one night on March 8.

Police searched a backpack or backpacks and found lotion and an open pack of condoms after confronting the senator and boy.

Shortey and the teenager had been texting each other for about a year, the report indicates.

Shortey was suspended by the state Senate Wednesday for disorderly behavior. He is an Oklahoma City Republican who was first elected in 2010. He is married and has children.

CONTRIBUTING: STAFF

WRITER JANE GLENN

CANNON